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Category Archives: Fin De Semana

Fin De Semana! 2-6-15

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We’ve probably reached Peak Marfa.

Can’t wait until the Coen Bros make this into a movie.

A somewhat more sensationalistic look at el Valle de Juarez.

New Mexico’s favorite industry is back in business.

What I’m Listening To:

Dwight Yoakam-Secondhand Heart

Man, I am really glad to see Dwight Yoakam back on a major label and making new music. He’s going out on tour again, and Sam Outlaw is opening for at least one date if you want a great night of California country, that’d be the one to see. Dwight’s always played with form and sound, trying to meld a lot of different things. His newer stuff seems more ragged and rockin’ drawing more on Liverpool than Bakersfield. I’ll take it.

What I’m Drinking

Shiner Birthday Beer. I try to pick up a sixer of these every year. This is certainly one of the most memorable of their birthday beers, a chocolate stout that tastes pretty much exactly like a chocolate cake. This one’s good in small doses, since it’s heavy and rich. Definitely best enjoyed on it’s own or after dinner.

Fin De Semana! 1-30-15

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In all the talk about the border we forget about a couple of things; namely that for some of us, it’s home and that it’s beautiful.

A recently discovered silent film starring Quanah Parker’s kids.

The Albuquerque Police Department has come under a lot of heat lately. The latest person to be shot and killed by APD was one of their own, an undercover drug agent making a $60 drug buy. All in all, a sobering read.

What I’m Listening To This Week:

Butch Hancock It’s pouring down buckets right now and I’m holed up with my iPod. I’ve been working my way through the Butch Hancock catalog all day. He’s sort of a high-plains Dylan, you might know him as 1/3 of the Flatlanders. One minute folksy and funny, the next esoteric and dead serious, his songs bear repeated listens and draw you in with one liners that’ll stick in your head for days. This particular video features the late Jesse “Guitar” Taylor, another Lubbock legend and one hell of a guitar slinger. But seriously, Butch Hancock. Start with “The Wind’s Dominion” and work your way around. You’ll find yourself befuddled, captivated and eventually hooked.

What I’m Drinking

El Paso County Tap Water. A New Years Resolution was to drink more water, so here I go with another glass.

Fin De Semana 1-23-15

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Buffalo Bill Cody opened New York City’s first Mexican restaurant.

Al Capone’s big brother was a frontier lawman.

What I’m Listening To This Week

An oldie but a goodie from Great Divide.

What I’m Drinking This Week

Old Grandad- Surprisingly smooth for a bourbon at that price point with that much rye. Mildly sweet, a little spicy (there’s your rye) and really good with a couple of ice cubes. Not super challenging or aggressive, this would be a good starter bourbon.

Fin De Semana! 12-19-14

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Back when West Texas was under the sea. My home turf is ringed by ancient coral reefs.

Jerry Jeff Walker, the larger than life figure who forms a thread that binds generations of Texans. How a New York folkie became a Texas icon is a story I’d really like to see the Coen Brothers tell sometime.

The politics behind a Ralph Lauren ad. The ad has since been taken down, and the company has apologized.

What I’m Listening To

What I’m Listening To

Speaking of Jerry Jeff, here’s a song of his I don’t think gets enough credit for being awesome. Something about the melody just stays with me and the image of a wheel spinning futilely in the air haunts me.

What I’m Drinking

Big Bend Brewing Co. Terlingua Gold Ale- NOW THIS is a hot weather beer. As crisp and refreshing as your average well made Light American Lager with just enough hops bitterness to give it some serious flavor. This is what your Dad’s trusty six pack of Whatever Light would taste like if the people making it gave shit. That perfect amount of tangy hops bitterness makes me think this beer is just dying to be partnered with a bite of a lime, a lick of salt and a shot of tequila. I’m gonna have to make that happen. Preferably this summer.

Fin De Semana! 12-12-14

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Native American country singers providing welcome relief from the outright garbage that is bro country.

A controversial deal will swap land sacred to the Apache to a mining company. It was snuck into a larger military spending bill.

My modest proposal: If you feel that tumbleweeds are a nuisance, move out of the desert. But I’ve always been a love or leave it type when it comes to the desert.

What I’m Drinking

Tejas Lager– Slightly bitter and oh so malty. Pity I just found this in the winter, this is a beer perfect for drinking after long hours working in the hot summer sun. Did I mention how frothy this beer is? So frothy and slightly creamy. Brewed in one of my favorite places on the entire planet, Alpine, TX. Definitely picking up a bunch of this when the weather goes back to scorching.

What I’m Listening To

Leo Rondeau– Mix the good, intelligent, stone-country songwriting Austin is famous for with a fragile, expressive voice reminiscent of Gram Parsons. There you go, you’ve got Leo Rondeau. I don’t know a whole lot about the guy, a google search says he’s from North Dakota and lives in Austin. To tell the truth, I’m a little tired of being able to know tons of stuff about an artist. I prefer to let Rondeau sing stories about bars, the Rapture, whalers, and fighting the white man. Give him a listen and I’m sure you’ll agree with me.

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The Hidden History Of Queer Country Music

New Music From Steve Earle!

Texas Monthly brings us a nice reminder that (gasp!) there’s still a whole lot of Texas west of Marfa.

What I’m Listening To This Week

This week’s #tweetcover theme is John Prine. You should probably go check that out on twitter. It’s good stuff. Those are all still coming together, so in the meantime, here’s one of my favorite Prine tunes.

What I’m Drinking This Week

Shiner Holiday Cheer- I don’t like sweet beers so why do I like this? I dunno. Tastes like peach and pecan pie and malty, malty beer. Really, I don’t know why I like this because it sounds terrible as I type this out, but damned if I don’t pick up a six pack of this every holiday season and enjoy it. Holiday Cheers!

Fin De Semana! 10-24-14

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Not a whole lot going on this week. Started a great new job and we’re moving. I’ve been commuting an hour each way everyday, so posts have been and will be a little more sporadic for the next couple of weeks.

What I’m Listening To

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Larry Hooper, Jeromy Hooper, Shane Walker, Mike Ethan Messick and probably some I’m missing are covering classic TV themes today. Fun stuff for sure, but they’re not being played for laughs. If you ever wanted to hear some soulful, rootsy takes on the intros to your favorite sitcoms, here’s your chance. I look forward to more fun #tweetcover stuff in the coming weeks.

(Also follow @chelshoop on twitter because she’s funny and a good photographer.)

What I’m Drinking

My wife brought home a pizza from the fancy place, so I’m drinking whatever cheapish red wine I have sitting around with it. Anyone got a rec for a good, cheap DRY red wine? Drop me a comment!

Fin De Semana! 9-26-14

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Here’s a little common sense calm down article about ISIS on the border.

For readers of a certain age: live action role-playing the Oregon Trail. (Well, maybe just playing some summer camp games with an Oregon Trail theme. I was lucky enough to see this as a kid.

Rattle: A cool new music magazine from some talented folks I know on twitter.

It’s Tom Lea month in El Paso. He’s been a big inspiration to me over the years, and I’m glad we celebrate him every year.

And finally, a brief account of Dennis Hopper’s legendary stint in Taos.

What I’m Listening To:

Sam Outlaw

Sam Outlaw’s songs are catchy, and his videos are great. What more can you ask really? He’s got a great ear for a melody and his songs are as country as you can get. I’ve had these songs stuck in my brain for days and now you will too. You’re welcome. (Also, check out this video set in the high desert of California. This is the same bit of landscape you’ve seen in a billion westerns and even part of Red Dead Redemption.)

What I’m Drinking

Now that it’s officially fall and the temperature has dropped to absolutely, perfectly pleasant outside, I’ve turned to finishing off a bottle of Basil Hayden’s I had left over from the winter. It’s light, slightly sweet and low proof i.e.: good for sipping in the waning light on a night when you just want a little bit of whiskey but you also want to be bright-eyed and bushy tailed for work the next day. This is a great starter bourbon, but if you’re a seasoned drinker, it might leave you feeling a little let down.

 

 

Fin De Semana! 9-12-14

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A brewery in Indiana gets around a stupid and very specific law by following it to the letter.

Much further West, the hunt for Sasquatch continues, even as hunters question why they’re chasing something everyone says is a myth.

An old article that got passed back around recently. Ralph Lauren’s ranch in Colorado. Say what you want about the man and his clothes, this is pretty similar to what Buffalo Bill Cody’s ranch would look like if he were alive today.

There’s been a lot of unsubstantiated, untrustworthy rumors that ISIS is in Juarez planning an attack on the U.S. Hysteria runs rampant in certain parts of the internet. Ft. Bliss, however, is on high alert. A gruesome murder  in El Paso was rumored to be related to terrorism but looks to be just senseless crime instead. My two cents: if ISIS is in Juarez (and remember, Juarez was supposedly full of Al Qaeda once, and Communists before that) they’re there for business and not to cause trouble in the U.S. An attack on the border would tighten drug smuggling corridors into the U.S. and put a huge dent in profits for the cartels. Put simply, it would be too bad for business.

What I’m Listening To

The Imperial Rooster

Imagine a marching band and an old time band broke down in the high desert of New Mexico and somehow, Tom Waits got involved. There’s polkas about butts and wage slave rebellions and pig forks. It’s all catchy and fun and settles into that sorta rootsy, greasy groove Ray Wylie Hubbard is always laying down. That’s the Imperial Rooster. Straight outta Espanola, New Mexico and fresh from Muddy Roots, The Imperial Rooster plays fun, surreal roots music like no one else. I have to say, they’re also some of the nicest and most fun folks I’ve ever interviewed. All the songs are pay what you want on their bandcamp page. But leave a little somethin’ for them will ya? I bet they’d appreciate the beer money.

What I’m Drinking

Sleepytime Tea because for some reason, I can’t sleep lately. Man, I’m the worst.

Fin De Semana! 8-29-14

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Robert Earl Keen’s Scriptorium seems like a cool place. I’ve heard about his replica of Daniel Plainview’s office for years. I’d kinda like to see a story about that, too. (Hey, I did that without making joke about milkshakes too.)

The lost bridle paths of Beverly Hills. There’s hidden oil wells all over L.A., too.

Longmire was cancelled, despite good ratings. I’ve enjoyed most of the episodes of this show I’ve seen, and some pals of mine are featured extras in a TON of episodes. I get the feeling A&E would much rather concentrate on trashy reality shows about people who don’t really deserve our attention. I go back and forth about the way rural people are presented on Duck Dynasty. I thought Longmire did a good job of representing people in the rural west. Anything is better than folks who misspell things deliberately in an attempt to seem more “country.”

What I’m Listening To

Crooks

When I hear that someone has a “Spaghetti-Western, Noir-ish, Tex-Mex Country Band” I usually roll my eyes because I’ve seen a million of those bands and they’re almost never any good. They tend to be more inspired by Quentin Tarrantino than, you know, actual music. What makes Crooks so good is that they understand and integrate all their influences so well. The country sounds like country, the Tejano sounds like Tejano, and the spaghetti western sounds like Morricone. It sounds more like the natural outgrowth of some guys who grew up listening to music on the border, which is why I like it. Because I’m a guy who grew up listening to a radio station that would play The Clash, Doug Sahm, and Los Tigres Del Norte in the same set. (Lead singer Josh Mazour is also one of the most consistently well dressed, western-wear wise, guys you’ll see.) THIS BAND GETS ME YOU GUYS NOW BOOK THEM ON A TOUR WITH MORRISSEY AND MAKE MY GROUCHY EL PASO COUNTY SELF SMILE.

What I’m Drinking

This week I’m drinking Carta Blanca because if you live on the border your life is awash in visual reminders of Carta Blanca. Carta Blanca signs are everywhere. I never remember what Carta Blanca tastes like. (It tastes like beer. Imagine drinking a beer that comes in a bottle that just says “Beer” in black type, like in Helvetica or something on a plain white label. It tastes nondescript, but pretty much just like beer. You’re not disappointed but you’re not wowed. This is the Carta Blanca experience.)I just know that it’s hot out and I’ve seen a hundred Carta Blanca signs and I’m drinking one right now as I type and hey, it’s a billion degrees outside and cold beer tastes good.